Broncos coach Wayne Bennett sent a text to all his players about his plans for next year in which he said "I'm committed to you for 2019 and excited with what we can achieve together".
The text, sent to the entire playing group on September 25, was a heads up from Bennett about a Broncos statement about to be released to confirm he would not be coaching the side in 2020.
NRL.com has seen the text, which Brisbane players have taken as an emphatic promise from Bennett that he would honour his 2019 contract.
That text explains why Anthony Milford and Josh McGuire have both asserted their conviction that Bennett will coach them next season.
"There will be a press release at 4.30[pm] stating that 2019 will be my final season for the Brisbane Broncos," Bennett wrote in his text.
"I'm committed to you for 2019 and excited with what we can achieve together. It was a club decision that 2019 was my last and you know regardless of that we know what a great group we are together.
"Have a good rest for us to have the best possible season. Have a fire in the belly for 2019."
Bennett signed off his text, as he often does to players past and present, with "Coach".
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The 68-year-old intends to coach on in 2020 and NRL.com has reported how Wests Tigers have moved to finalise a long-term deal with Bennett in the event that Ivan Cleary is released to coach the Penrith Panthers.
Bennett also told Broncos staff that he would be on board in 2019 before he flew to England on Wednesday to coach the national side in a three-Test series against New Zealand.
Broncos powerbrokers expect Bennett to honour his commitment for next year, while also aware that things change quickly in rugby league and that a move to the Tigers or elsewhere in 2019 is not beyond the realms of possibility.
NRL.com columnist and Broncos great Steve Renouf said Bennett was left with no choice but to investigate other options.
"No one should bag him for that. That is his livelihood, and like everyone he has to look out for a job," Renouf said.
"A coach is no different and particularly now because back in the day they used to have a word called 'loyalty' but that is not in the rugby league dictionary anymore."
Renouf said Bennett would also have a fire in his belly next year to finish his Broncos coaching career with a premiership.
"If he’s here, and he's said he will be, Wayne will be wanting to go out with a bang and with a win," Renouf said.
"The Broncos won plenty of games against the top four this year and weren't far off, and I think they will be in even better shape next season.
"They can definitely challenge for a premiership."